Today I was asked the question “what do you need?”  At the time, I didn’t know.  I couldn’t think of anything, but knew that with the emotional rollercoaster deployment happens to be, I probably need something.  So I’ve been think about the question all day.  These are some answers that I can think of pertaining to this deployment and also to times past that Chase has been gone.

1) I need a hug.  I’m an emotional wreck, so I’ll probably cry all over you.  But I need the support a hug offers.  The knowing that someone cares.  A hug also says it’s okay, and I need to know it’s okay.  Whatever it happens to be at the time.  My abilities as a parent, the whole deployment thing, whatever.  It’s a small gesture that can mean the world.

2) I need your help not to become work for me.  If I have to balance schedules, or if you make me feel like the one who has to coordinate the effort, it will become overwhelming and be more of a curse than a blessing.  If you want to bring me dinner, bring me dinner.  If you want to have me over, just invite me.  Nike had the right idea, Just Do It.

3) I don’t always know what I need.  But if you’re making dinner and just happen to bring some extra by that would be awesome.  Even better if you invite me over and let me hang with people with more than one digit to their age.  If you just love to vacuum, all I have to say is bring your own over, mine is currently acting up.  You enjoy hanging with people with only one digit to their age, take mine for a while so I can get a hair cut or go shopping for things I can’t buy with the kids around.  The answer to this one is the same as the last, Just Do It.

4) Be honest with me.  If I have offended you, tell me so we can fix it.  The last thing I need is to be sorting out hurt feelings ages after the fact.  And I also don’t need a lot of drama.  Let’s just put it all out there and take care of it.  And I really, truly appreciate all of you who have been honest with me and started a dialogue that has left us both feeling better at the end of the day.

5) Here’s another just do it.  If you say you’ll do something, do it.  Don’t leave me hanging out to dry.  That’s fun enough to deal with when everything’s hunky-dory.  But when I’m already frazzled and at my wits end…..please, don’t make me go there.

6) I need somewhere to go that isn’t my house.  I need to see people who aren’t my kids.  And I need to not be taking care of this by visiting all my local waiters and cashiers.  Basically, invite me over.

7) I need underwear.  I know, TMI.  But I tossed my hole-y underwear and the stuff with broken elastic without seeing what that left me with.  The answer, not enough.  This specific problem is solved by a fairly general solution.  I need time without my kids.  I need someone to watch them while I go shopping.  Or get a haircut.  Or whatever it might be that I need to do and I just can’t take them along.

8) I need encouragement.  It may not seem like much to you.  I know that when I tell someone they are doing a great job, I feel like I need to do more to help.  But it feels good to know that someone out there thinks I’m doing a good job.  And I do need to hear the words.  If I don’t hear it, I will begin to doubt it.  And here I’ll be honest.  This and the hug may be hard for me to accept.  I may be overwhelmed (in a good way) and not know what to do.  But I need it.

9) I need to laugh.

10) I need to know I’m not alone.  Whatever it you can do from a “how are you?”, or a “do you need anything?” and beyond.  It’s all important.  Please don’t ignore me.

11) Prayer for me and my husband.  ‘Specially him, as he’s the one in the war zone.  Physical war and spiritual war.

12) I need to know you support my husband.  Send him stuff, write him a letter.  Don’t diss the military.  And above all don’t insult him personally.

That about sums it up, for now.  There are the specific needs that come up now and again.  The emergency need for diapers.  The need for a washing machine.  But those are my general needs and I’m sure I’m not the only Army spouse needing these twelve things.